Latest: Pupil tells hearing she was 'scared' when teacher asked her to put sellotape on her mouth

Update 2.40pm: A female student says she was "scared and shocked" when a teacher asked her to put sellotape over her mouth during class.

The 15-year-old is giving evidence at the first ‘Fitness to Teach’ inquiry where a teacher denies putting tape on the mouths of five girls.

The student, who was in fifth class at the time, said the teacher put the sellotape on her mouth after she refused to do it.

She said she had to leave the tape on for about 20 minutes and had a rash on her mouth afterwards.

The name of the teacher, school and students involved are protected.

File photo.

1.07pm: Latest: Fitness to practice inquiry hears pupils were 'distressed' after sellotape put on their mouths

In opening this inquiry, Senior Counsel Remy Farrell said the teacher was teaching fifth class at a primary school in March 2012 when some of the students became giddy.

He said it would be alleged the teacher told them if they were not quiet she would put sellotape on their mouths.

Shortly after that it would be alleged, she did put sellotape on the mouths of five girls or told them to put it on their mouths themselves.

It would be alleged the girls had to spend the rest of the class with their mouths taped shut and the teacher asked them to remove it when the class was over.

The principal of the school was told about what happened and would say the five girls were "upset and distressed".

In a statement this April, the teacher, who said she has not taught in years, denied she had physically assaulted the girls by putting sellotape on their mouths.

She said she did not put the tape on them, rather they did it themselves, which shocked her and she asked them to take it off.

File photo.

11.08am: Fitness to practice inquiry hears teachers put sellotape on pupils' mouths

The first ever fitness to teach inquiry is underway.

The teacher in question is accused of putting sellotape on the mouths of five students in March 2012.

The teacher hasn’t appeared before the inquiry and isn’t obliged to.

The inquiry was told the teacher said she wouldn’t be able for the ‘rigours of the hearing’ because of a medical condition.

The hearing is being held in public but the teacher’s identity, the name of the school and all witnesses are protected.

6.47am: Council to hear first fitness to practice hearing for a teacher since legislation introduced

The first hearing into a teacher’s fitness to practice in an Irish school is due to take place in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, this morning.

Details of the complaint made against the teacher have not been made public yet and it is understood he or she will not be identified.

Since the ‘Fitness to Practice’ legislation took effect last July, the Teaching Council has received around 50 complaints, but only half of those have been investigated further, and this case is the first to go to a full hearing.

Anyone including colleagues, parents and even children can make a complaint but those considered frivolous or vexatious will not be pursued.

The council has the power to strike a teacher off the professional register, but lesser penalties include suspension and an offer of support to improve performance.

The legislation provides for hearings to be held in public but they can also be held in private, either in full or in part.

It is not yet clear if the public will be allowed into today’s hearing, the first of its kind, but it is understood the identity of the teacher in question will be protected.

The hearing has been set down for two days.


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